Dec. 17, 1995 was a tough time in the history of the Seahawks. California-based real-estate tycoon Ken Behring had purchased the team from the Nordstrom family and was running it into the ground. He had fired legendary coach Chuck Knox and replaced him with ex-Raiders coach Tom Flores. He was operating the team from Anaheim, of all places, with his son employed as president.
The next year, Behring closed the team headquarters and announced the team was moving to Anaheim. Offseason workouts took place in the Los Angeles Rams‘ old facility. While team executives were still trying to do business from a Bellevue hotel, the NFL threatened to fine Behring $500,000 a day until he returned the team to Seattle.
But before that happened, the Seahawks were still trying to win some football games. After Behring fired his own boy Flores, he hired Dennis Erickson, who’d just had a tremendous run with the University of Miami. Seattle had missed the playoffs six years straight.
The Kingdome was still standing and the Raiders were in town. It was Sunday night primetime. With no roof on the stadium to let the noise out, the 12th Man was thunderous.
The game went Seattle’s way from the beginning, with Chris Warren scoring from 15 and 14 yards out in the first quarter. Looking very West Coast, John Friesz was an efficient 16-of-25 for 220 yards, including a 43-yarder to electric rookie Joey Galloway. Seattle scored 30 unanswered points to finish 44-10.
It was one of those warm and fuzzy games where it just feels good to pound on a rival. People forget how good Warren was. 1995 was his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season. He currently is the No. 2 rusher in Seattle history behind Shaun Alexander and one yard ahead of Curt Warner. The guy could glide and was deceptively fast.
And Galloway? He was one of the fastest dudes I can remember. I’ve seen him catch a deep ball then run away from a defender effortlessly while looking over his shoulder at him.
My college roommate at the time was a major-league vocal Raiders fan. Both of us were at home for the holidays at the time. After watching the game and loving every minute of it, I called him.
“I missed the game,” I said. “How did it go?” He told me all about the sad results. It sounded even better that way.